Different Types of Military Leave for Different Situations

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

types of military leave

Have you ever wondered if a military personnel asks for a leave? Technically, yes.

They can file for military leave with certain requirements. Military leave is an approved time off for all military members, Reservists, and National Guards.

You are still paid in full even if you are on leave. So, what are the types of military leave a soldier can avail?

The 10 types of leaves are Ordinary, Block, Emergency, War, Maternity Or Paternity, Excess, Terminal, Convalescent, Permissive Temporary Duty (Ptd), And Special Leave Accrual (Sla).

If you are ready to learn more about them, paid or unpaid leaves, and other information – scroll down below!

Military Leave Types For Service Members

Military personnel may request military leave for vacation or another event at any time during their service. But how does it work?

All of the branches of the U.S. The Armed Forces: Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Army, And Marine Corps follow the same military leave rules.

  • All military members are allowed to take 3 days to 30 days off each year. Any leave should be taken in the middle of the week. Yet, each member is only permitted to carry a total of 60 leave days.
  • Members of the Reserve and National Guard are free to use their military leave days while they are not on duty.
  • However, it can change depending on the country’s situation (war or peace time) and other circumstances. If you do not use up your leave days, you lose them.

What is military leave called? There are 10 categories of military leaves. Let’s discuss each of them:

1. The Ordinary Leave


It is a regular leave where you are paid in your leave period.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: It lasts only for two and a half days each month while you are serving in the military. You can leave for the whole day, the middle of the day, or more days.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: You must submit a written request for leave, which your commander will approve or disapprove.

Also, you must inform your commander where you are heading, like the exact location, the purpose of your leave (family, traveling, etc.), and your intended mode of transportation for going to the place you plan to go.

2. The Block Leave


It is a type of leave where everyone or a “block” of a military unit takes a leave. Block leave usually happens during the holiday season, like Christmas, and deployments during summer.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: 10 days of leave beginning the week before and after Christmas.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: Since the Army closes the basic training and training schools for the holidays, drill sergeants and instructors can take block leave.

3. The Emergency Leave


From the name itself, military emergency leave is usually used by military members who have an emergency with their immediate family.

The approval of this leave is often given as the top priority by commanders as a way to allow you to respond to your emergency as soon as possible.

In addition to receiving payment during your leave, subject to your military status, you may also be eligible for other benefits, including relief, housing, and other assistance.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: An approved emergency leave can be taken up to 30 days.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: It must only be used in situations concerning immediate family members. It is still regarded as a chargeable leave.

4. The War Leave


This type of national emergency leave means that Congress and the U.S. President urge the military to go on special missions like war or national emergency.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: Your leave duration is indefinite. It will last as long as you are on active duty and an additional day for travel to and from that assignment unless the commands currently demand further traveling.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: You are allowed to file a leave if you are a member of the U.S. Reserve or National Guard, a state employee, and or the President or Congress issues a command to report to active duty war leave.

5. The Maternity or Paternity Leave


Parents who just gave birth and those who adopted a young child are eligible for this kind of leave if a military member is pregnant while on active duty, she may also use maternity leave.

The DOD is firm about making military parental leave as paid leave. However, from a civilian employment perspective, not every American employer allows paid parental leave.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: 12 weeks of parental leave for active service members, Army Reserve and Guard on duty.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: It authorizes those in the Armed Forces, whether they are mothers or fathers, adoptive or surrogate parents, and LGBTQ couples.

6. The Excess Leave

An excess leave is called when a soldier uses up more than the maximum number of leave days that is allowed to them. However, you are not paid or given allowance during this kind of leave.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: A military member may take no more than 30 days of unpaid leave in addition to what they might have accumulated during their services.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: It may be allowed if there is an emergency, as long as advance leave is used up first and the total amount of time given is not more than 60 days.

7. The Terminal Leave

Terminal leave, or transitional leave, is a chargeable leave used just before leaving the military. There is no expectation that someone on terminal leave will return from active duty or work.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: The maximum duration of terminal leave is 30 – 60 days.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: You must submit your request for terminal leave 60 to 90 days before you want to take it.

8. The Convalescent Leave


Convalescent leave is an absence from duty given to speed up a military member’s resumption to active duty following illness, accident, or baby delivery.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: A maximum of 30 days.
  • Eligibility And Requirements: A doctor and your commander must authorize it and provide their approval for your leave during a set time. Additionally, it is compensated time off that is not taken from your leave credits.

9. The Permissive Temporary Duty Leave (TYD)

Permissive Temporary Duty Leave (TYD) is unpaid leave. This type of leave helps service members shift to normal life by giving them days off to look for housing and a job.

Depending on space availability, a retiree or an eligible military spouse is entitled to one roundtrip flight on a military plane to search for housing and employment.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: 10 – 30 days
  • Eligibility And Requirements: When you’ve decided to hunt for new employment or home following separation, you can be granted permission for a leave of absence.

10. Special Leave Accrual (SLA)


Special Leave Accrual (SLA) permits military personnel to take time off after they are stationed in hostile fire or imminent danger regions or if they have served on military units or other responsibilities.

It is a deployment leave policy for military personnel whose extended deployments or situations of animosity prevent them from taking time off.

  • Duration Of Military Leave: Maximum of 120 days
  • Eligibility And Requirements: Military personnel are allowed to leave based on their deployment length, which requires them to spend no fewer than 120 successive days in hostile environments or military units.

Pay Benefits for Military Leaves


For most military leaves, you will still receive your pay and other benefits, such as your health, vision, and dental benefits. You can still earn service credit towards retirement and remain covered by military insurance.

The military considers accession leave army documentation to properly record leaves in their accession leave data and pay military members correctly.

Additionally, companies that pay military leave if any of their employees are asked to report to active duty or must attend reserve training in the U.S. military.

Companies could help employees carry out their national obligations while keeping a positive work environment by acknowledging and honoring different kinds of military leave.

These companies include Adobe, Walmart, Deloitte, The Home Depot, AT&T, Merck, and universities like MIT and Montana State University.

How to Request Leave?

1. An Army Leave Request for Ordinary Leave Looks Like This:

Soucre: milreg.com

As you can see from the image above, you must follow several steps. It also depends on what type of military leave you want to avail.

After that, you must submit multiple forms. These forms, or “leave chit,” can be in a paper or electronic request. Then, your leave request is subject to approval from your chain of command.

Be prepared, though. There are a lot of considerations for leave approvals. The chain of command follows the rules in approving leave requests, and it may vary per military branch.

Approved leave can be known as “checking out,” and after you come back, you are “checking in,” with your command regulations for checking out and checking in.

Here’s an example of a USMC leave request template that you can find online:


2. Can I Sell Unused Leave?


Yes, you can sell leave days. Military members can give back up to 60 leave days if they haven’t used them before or when they get an honorable dismissal from the service.

Furthermore, a military person is entitled to an award of cash for the leave days they did not use. In most cases, military leave is returned at the basic pay and doesn’t include any extra payments or benefits.


Both employers and employees must know about the types of military leave. It is beneficial for military members who are committed to their military service and from civilian employment.

You can use this article as a fact sheet that serves as a valuable resource, offering comprehensive information about military leaves.

You may have read different reasons for leaving the military in this article. Remember that you have these military leave benefits as a privilege and must spend it wisely.

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